What would you change about your spouse? Is it the way he leaves dishes in the sink? Or the way she leaves hair all over the bathroom floor? Think about the items in your marriage you wish were a little better. (Please don't email me a list or anything.)
Now, more importantly, what would you NOT change about your spouse? Is it the way she cooks dinner almost every night? Or the way he entertains the kids so you can have some time to yourself? You should probably thank your spouse for those things.
Because, in marriage (the same as in other relationships) a thank you can go a long way.
Researchers from the University of Georgia polled numerous couples about their relationship and their financial situations. After trolling through the data they were able to determine that expressions of gratitude were the strongest predictor of a quality marriage. It didn't matter what else was going on in the family - new baby, loss of job, sickness - marriages where partners were able to show each other gratitude were the strongest.
Furthermore, the study was able to show that a simple act of gratitude was able to counteract weeks of negativity within a marriage.
I love this study, mostly because it is a good reminder for me to not take my wonderful husband for granted. Can he drive me crazy? Yes. Absolutely. (But I probably drive him just as crazy.) But I also need to remember all the things he takes care of for me and our family so that I don't have to worry about them.
How do you show your spouse gratitude? Tell me in the comments.